Exclusive: Take a look at stunning work ‘BELLA’

Canadian artists zed and Tylor have been crafting beautifully contorted music in the underground Toronto scene for a while now, but they’ve really been upping their game in 2016. They’ve paired up with longtime architect and designer Eric Lachance to release “BELLA,” the odd but genius video that adds sharp edges to the mumble-based track.

Part of zed’s continuation in releasing exclusives on Sundays, the boys chatted with us about their stunning collaboration.

BELLA from a / studio on Vimeo.

How would you describe your style and sound, and how did you begin in music respectively?

zed:Our style is us. Each individual character is unique with different focuses that come together in the end. We just create. I started in music some 3 years back when Tylor had me write some bars. We used to back-and-forth all the time through messages but we got together one night and just kicked some lines to each other. Evolved from there.

Tylor:With regards to any art form I believe self expression is the key to creating genuine pieces. I was classically trained in piano, vocal studies, and taught myself guitar, but writing has always been my bread and butter. However I feel is what I try to portray – this ranges from hip hop to folk.

What were your motivations behind the track, can you explain a little bit about the visual component, and your visual choices?

zed: In all honesty, Tylor and I made the track as a joke. We were seeing how easy it was to make a heavy, 3 instrument banger. Actually turned out to be REAL heavy and Tylor started writing some… So I followed suit. Probably took us 15 minutes to make the whole thing. In regards to the visual, That was all Eric, with the help of Mack and Jamil. They wanted to shoot a video because they really got down with the song so we said why not. With the video it took about 1 hr or so to film it all? Funny thing was we didn’t even check any footage. Didn’t even cross my mind since I didn’t really sweat it. It felt right so I didn’t question it. The whole visual credit goes to Eric though. He spear-headed the whole thing while we just tried not to act sus in front of a camera.

Tylor:Sometimes you’ve just gotta flex. Zed was producing this cut as I was walking into the basement and immediately there was this mutual understanding that thebeat was about to get bodied. We both hail from Scarborough but moved further east to the suburbs in Durham so making a typical hip hop video based in the city wasn’t for us. We’re constantly surrounded by pockets of neighbourhoods mixed in with fields and unfamiliar ruins such as the set in this particular video. Eric LaChance came out east, with Mack and D’andre- they met with our homie Jamil and we just treated the spot as if it was our stage.

Eric:I remember first hearing this track and not knowing what really to think, it was dark yet i couldn’t stop laughing ’cause neither tylor or zed are agressive nor arrogant. They are both very humble and thoughtful individuals. To me, Bella was an experiment where they could give a little “fuck you, I’m better then you”. I know
neither of them thought they were going to release it ever as both of them are sittinga mountain of tracks, and this was just going to be another one of those.

Zed is a sonic architect: he is able to create sounds, and shape space between the sounds that offer flexibility for visual freedom. The visuals then for Bella had to compliment the production while being innovative in its formal qualities. I felt no need to fill up the empty space between the lyrics or verses or sounds. having studied architecture for 5 years making videos or what not is a way for me to not think and only produce
its 100% intuitive. it makes for all natural products. It was very intuitive for me to let these spaces just be a black screen. In that sense that was my “fuck you” where my absence of visuals are more powerful then the next guy’s fully thought out visuals.

I think when a lot of people think about hip hop, they immediately think of Drake, but the style of this video seems so far removed from that scene. On the other hand, people give the impression that Toronto is a small, tight knit scene. What would you say are the biggest misconceptions about your home city, and what messagesare you trying to relay over with your music (and in particular, this visual release)?

Zed: One of the biggest misconceptions about my home city.. is that it’s not even a part of Toronto. Tylor and I are from Pickering, which is the east of Toronto. Sure things are bumping in the city but all of the creation goes on OUTSIDE of it.

We just use Toronto as a meeting point, I just want everyone to create. The world would be so beautiful if everyone just focused on creating things of their own in this world. Sharing ideas to help develop those things. Thats what I want my music to be. A tool to help gear humanity’s mind towards creation and imagination. With Bella specifically, there was no message really… Except to show everyone how easy it is to make something like that sound good.

Tylor: I think Toronto is a spectrum. It’s the diversity that makes us such an innate society for art in general because of all these different perspectives constantly clashing into each other. What a lot of artists in the city fail to realize is that we don’t have to put ourselves in this box in order to thrive, nor do we have to act a certain way to separate ourselves from the crowd. People see Drake as the frontman right now (which is fine) but we need to be reminded that it’s not one person that shapes how the world views us, it’s us as individuals. That
being said, I feel as though Zed and I don’t quite fit the mould of what the typical suburban youth are portrayed as. Out here you’re either bored, doing something illegal. We’re trying to show people that the art doesn’t stop where
they don’t look, it extends past the GTA. Past the borders of what’s expected. And it’s key to mention that we don’t do this to be different, we’re just from a place where people aren’t used to seeing be represented in such a way.

Eric: Visually for Bella, I was trying to relay that I’m not scared to experiment, or try something new, to develop an idea and follow through with it. All I need around me is my circle for support. Visuals now a days are always jam packed with information and things to look at. Bella was to be as simple as possible, where you are either
looking to the left or the right. either looking at zed, Tylor or a black screen.Having studied architecture for 5 years it has taught me to to conceive and idea and to execute it as best as possible.

You guys have an unique flow and pick dark beats to rap over. Who or what are your inspirations?

Zed: My reality is my inspiration. I’ve recently found romance in everything. I can be inspired by anything. Musically, my inspirations RANGE across the map.. But my biggest inspiration would be Tylor. He’s legendary.

Tylor:Originally it was MF Doom. He’s an unapologetic wordsmith, but Earl Sweatshirt slowed it down and brought more attention to broken cadences and full detailed phrasing that got to me. Any chance I get to fully express myself, I’m all over it.

Finally, any upcoming events/releases that you can reveal for the rest of 2016?

Zed: We’re working on a whole world full of projects. We never stop creating. Individually and collectively but I’ll only speak for myself though. I’m working on a project named “Cape XE: Day and Night.” and I’m going to be releasing an EP in the Fall called “In Love.” The names are perfect depictions of what to expect so I won’t say anymore, but I just wanted to thank you, and everyone else for their TIME.

Tylor:Zeds working on “Cape Xe”, this illustrious, atmospheric, two part instrumental project. From what I’ve heard so far, he’s pushing himself tenfold to get it exactly how he wants. I just finished my first original acoustic album called “timeaway”. It’s very personal and special to me, but I’ll explain further when we have
everything done and ready to go in the late summer / early fall transition. Also worth noting, Patrick Perez is working on a collective ep with Zed, our homies Preme and Fredericks Reginald, and myself. It’s called Whitlock and it should be rolling and public some time in June. Lots of exciting work to expect from us this year – and this is just the beginning.

Eric: My whole circle has projects that they have individually conceived and as a whole we areconstantly helping eachother execute them. On my end, you can look for Almond God Studios where I’m gonna have my hands in as many design aspects that surround people on a daily basis.

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